Reverb Studios Design 10 Years Old Today!

On this day, 11th of the 11th, exactly 10 years ago I registered the business name “Reverb Studios” with the Companies Registration Office having finally realised that the Photoshop and Web Design hobbies I’d had for a couple of years might actually have some potential to provide a full time job. I’d only just moved to Leitrim a couple of years before and hadn’t been able to find a job in my field which at the time would have been Electronics/Engineering so in my ample spare time I messed around on the computer, teaching myself Photoshop, Dreamweaver, HTML/CSS, Music Editing and other programs that I still use regularly today.

I had registered a small PC Repair business the year before and got a few jobs per week fixing people’s computers. Mostly virus removal, optimisation and hardware upgrades but I didn’t enjoy it all that much and income was minimal. I built a few websites for myself, then friends and family who in turn recommended me to friends of theirs and before I knew it really, I was a web designer and my web design services were in demand! Luckily, around that time it was beginning to dawn on people that marketing your business on the web as well as offline was becoming a bit of a necessity so there seemed to be plenty of work. I got some mentoring and funding from the local enterprise board in Leitrim, wrote a business plan (at their suggestion) and basically professionalised my skills and offering and got started in earnest.

Since then I’ve gradually increased my clients list and income year on year and I’m glad to say that today I have a well known and respected business with over 120 repeat clients and have become recognised locally as an expert in both WordPress Web design and Photoshop as well as general IT solutions.

I plan to be in business for another 10 years at least and to continue expanding my skillset, services and client base and hopefully expand employee numbers or partner with other companies at some stage.

The moral of my story is that it’s absolutely possible to make a career out of a hobby or something you love doing and to achieve that on your own steam starting with no experience or qualifications. All it takes is some common sense, hard work, good organisation and great communication.

Leon – Reverb Studios

 

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New Website for Reverb Studios Design

I decided recently to ditch WordPress on my main business site and go with a static, responsive design built with HTML5 & PHP and using the Twitter Bootstrap mobile framework. The reasons for this are mostly to do with WordPress security, bloat and slowness which I reckon might have been affecting my SEO performance lately.

Lets see if it makes a difference!

Please leave me some feedback on the design!?

Live March 2015 – www.ReverbStudios.ie

ReverbStudios.ie

Photoshop Mentoring and Training Leitrim

For anyone in or around Leitrim who’d like to learn the basics of using Photoshop whether it be for personal/hobby use or to improve job prospects etc, I may be hireable under Leitrim LEO’s mentoring program on which I’ve provided mentoring for years now. I can also quote for mentoring outside of that too though.

I’ve found over the years that there’s a major lack of real world Photoshop or general advanced software training in Northwest Ireland. All you ever see is social media, start your own business, taxation, etc training. The kind of stuff most people should easily pickup themselves these days. What about people already established in their businesses and looking to move to the next level in certain areas?

The kind of people who would typically benefit from Photoshop training are:

  • Graphic Designers,
  • Web Developers,
  • Artists,
  • Photographers
  • etc..

I’ve been using Photoshop since about 2003 for personal and business use and have recently gained Adobe Expert status. I can mentor/teach basic use and some advanced techniques such as: Photo Restoration, Photo Editing, Photo Colorisation and more.

PS – I’m hoping to run a 2 day Photoshop training workshop in Carrick-on-Shannon early in 2015 so sign up for my newsletter to keep updated about this. I am also hoping to have an online Photoshop course as well.

Leon

New Home Page for ReverbStudios.ie

I’ve decided to replace my home page with a less wordy, call to action rich landing/intro page inspired (perhaps! Sshhh..) by Windows 8 tiles and flat design! I think the new design which features links to all my various Social Networking profiles makes sense since I probably communicate more through those channels than anywhere else on a daily basis and I think it’s a nice idea that my website should be the hub for that. I’ve taken time to cultivate pretty much every social network mentioned and have good followers, content and interactions on all of them.

My old home page with a wordy introduction is still available at ReverbStudios.ie/Home/ and you can get to that by clicking “Home” in the menu bar top or return to the intro/landing page by clicking “Intro” at the bottom.

Let me know what ye think?

Leon

Adobe Photoshop CC Certified Expert Leitrim Ireland

I’m pleased to announce that despite never having attached much weight or significance to qualifications, certifications, exams or courses, preferring instead to learn whatever I specifically needed to know and only when I needed to know it, I have now become officially certified by Adobe in their latest version of Photoshop, CC! The reasoning behind it was that after 12 years of using Photoshop, I thought maybe it was the right time to get some kind of recognition and have something more to show! Also, I hope to use the certification to get more Photoshop work and maybe start to offer some training courses or one to one mentoring so get in touch if that’s what you need.

adobe-cert

 

I thought I’d sail the exam having used Photoshop for so many years now but the exam was pretty hard and required a fair bit of preparation including taking a few online refresher courses, watching a pile of videos and taking some mock exams online in the weeks leading up to the exam in Dublin’s Exam Centre.

I’m now one of only a very small handful of certified Photoshop experts in Ireland at the time of writing so an exclusive enough club!

Leon – “expert”!

Google Now Ranking SSL HTTPS sites Higher in Results

Well this has come at the right time for me! I’ve only recently switched my main site here over to HTTPS completely. As I was doing it I kind of hoped Google would at some stage think about ranking fully secure sites a bit higher in an effort to cut out poor or insecure sites from results but didn’t think they’d be so quick to implement it.

While being fully HTTPS isn’t a massive ranking factor at the minute, it may get more important over the next few years so I’d recommend getting a secure cert for your site now. Here’s the full Google announcement re HTTPS ranking:

http://www.googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ch/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal.html

I can help with the setup and a secure cert only costs about €15 per year.

Get in touch.

Leon

Trading Online Vouchers Scheme

It has just been announced that applications for the Trading Voucher scheme are now being accepted (from 1st July 2014). The scheme will allow for qualifying businesses to apply for a grant of up to €2,500 to E-commerce enable your website. Please use my Quote form to send your project details and I will provide the itemised estimate required by the scheme.

For more info on the scheme, please get in touch with your Local Enterprise Office:

Leitrim LEO